Charleston, South Carolina is famous for its antique stores, particularly those located downtown, but the Great One and I do not have an ample budget for high-dollar antiquing.  So on our recent visit to Charleston, we started small with some of the antique/vintage shops located West Ashley and on Mt Pleasant.  We got a later start than we had intended so we’ll have to save James Island and Johns Island for another trip.

We started with Roumillat’s on Savannah Highway and wouldn’t you know it, he found yet another type of dime bank.  I’m afraid we have only scratched the surface when it comes to bank collecting.  The bank collector groups are even divided into still banks and mechanical banks and I’m guessing further subdivided into other categories, as well. 

I think he should start The Great Randini’s Society of Keyless Banks Collectors.  He could have a No Keys Allowed logo and maybe a secret password to gain entry through a door that no one can find.  A keyless key ring could be ceremoniously bestowed upon members as they are inducted at an annual convention.  Perhaps they could help each other understand the allure of these inaccessible receptacles.  I am sure there is some deep-seated reason why he is drawn to these forlorn and forgotten banks.

After stopping at the Antique Mall of Charleston and a few more shops in the West Ashley area, we headed to Mt Pleasant.  We both remember passing by Page’s Thieves Market growing up when going to and from the beach and as neither of us had ever stopped, we decided to put it on our list for this trip.  Unfortunately it was a cold, damp day in Charleston and not the most conducive weather for browsing at Page’s.  I’m thinking our next visit there will be in the springtime.  They have plenty of interesting items to see and the cutest little dogs in matching pink sweaters guarding the store.  

On our way to Page’s we had passed by Six Mile Antique Mall on Coleman Blvd so on the way back, we pulled in.  Are we ever glad we did.  It is a really comfortable shop, well laid out and easy to move around between booths.  The owners, Dan and Harriet Blackburn, are lifelong collectors, who are thoroughly enjoying their “retirement” even though they are most assuredly working harder than ever.  They are full of information and we really enjoyed hearing their story.  After looking at everything downstairs we headed upstairs and somewhere along the way, I found a “Made in Occupied Japan” vase.  Six Mile Antique Mall will definitely be our first stop on future visits to the Charleston area. 

It looks like I’ll have plenty of time for researching my vase this weekend.  Supposedly, we are in for a good bit of snow (at least for us) tonight and with temperatures below freezing through the weekend, we probably won’t be going anywhere this weekend.